Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, the team announced.
Crawford has what the team termed a “chronic” ulnar collateral tear in his left elbow. Doctor James Andrews will perform the procedure. Crawford is anticipated to be out up to 9 months.
Crawford, Boston’s left fielder, 1st suffered the injury in spring training when he was rehabbing from offseason wrist surgery, which was performed last January. He missed the 1st half of the season and was finally activated on July 16. He finished the season with a .282 average with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs and 19 RBIs in only 31 games.
In only his 2nd season in Boston since he signed a 7-year contract worth $142 million as a free agent before the 2011 season, Crawford admitted numerous times this summer that surgery was inevitable, but he attempted to play through the pain until the symptoms began to worsen.
“We were trying to manage it conservatively and his symptoms increased over the last few days,” GM Ben Cherington said. “We talked later last weekend and during the weekend, but Carl wanted to get thru the weekend and play in the Yankee series and we concluded to circle up again (Monday) and we made a decision to get it taken care of.”
“It became clear during the last few days that surgery was going to happen, it was just a question of when,” Cherington added. “We felt, after talking with Carl, it was actually the right action to take to get it looked after now. To Carl’s credit, he had played through the injury and played very well, but since it wasn’t improving and symptoms were getting worse, we decided it was not fair to keep asking him to go out there, so we decided to look after it now and he agreed with that.”
The recovery time for position players after having Tommy John surgery is shorter than for pitchers, who sometimes miss at least 12 months, but each case is different. Baseball betting lines
“It is shorter than a pitcher,” Cherington said. “It can be up to 9 months, but players have come back earlier than that in 2 cases.”
After talking about the matter with Crawford, his agent and the organization’s medical staff, Cherington said that Rick Jameyson, the club’s head athletic trainer, ultimately made the advice for Crawford to have the surgery this week. The club also consulted with Andrews on several occasions, including a discussion.
The Red Sox, in the meantime, will prepare to go on without him. Daniel Nava, who performed so well in Crawford’s absence until his own wrist issue put him on the DL, is rehabbing in Pawtucket and will unquestionably receive a summons to return. Any fading hopes the team has of making a belated run for the postseason will rely much less on their left fielder than on whether the pitching can finally come together, a dubious offer at best. It would help, also, to have David Ortiz back in the lineup.